One Year Later: Charleston Church Offering Reconciliation
One year after the the Charleston Church Shooting or "Charleston Massacre" where 9 people were killed while praying in the church, the new Pastor, Reverend Dr. Betty Deas Clark is using her platform and influence to offer "racial healing, reconciliation and equality for all."
"Humanity has a moral responsibility to honor the legacy of the Mother Emanuel (affectionate nick-name of the church - the oldest AME church in the south) victims and survivors through a renewed commitment to move our nation forward by building and fostering relationships that close the gaps that divide us through the promotion of racial healing, reconciliation and equality for all", said Clark.
"If we join together in common purpose, I am confident that we will solve the great challenge of our time."
oining together with Clarke in calling our nation toward racial healing is St. Michael's Episcopal Church and the Civilitas Group, a national coalition of pastors, university presidents, journalists, ministry leaders. The collaboration of organizations will hold a National Service of Commemoration with Clark on June 17 at 4:00 p.m. EDT, inviting churches around the nation to speak influence their people to resist racism.
"In the days and weeks following the tragedy in Charleston, many in the white Evangelical community wanted to do something to fight the plague of racism in our country and churches. However, we soon realized that white Evangelical and African-American leaders did not even know each other," said Rev. Dr. Doug Birdsall, founder and president of The Civilitas Group. "For the past year, we have been working to build intentional friendships and relationships with the intent to end racism in our communities."
Participants in the National Service of Commemoration will include Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr., president emeritus of Morehouse College, Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today, Dr. Phil Ryken, president of Wheaton College, Dr. Jim Wallis, founder and president of The Sojourners Community, Dr. Wayne Gordon, president emeritus of the Christian Community Development Association? Filmmaker Art Hooker, president of the New Metropolitan and producer of "Unashamed World," along with many others.
The effort has also organized an online petition at AfterCharleston.com, a petition to commit to solidarity and personal leadership in regards to race in America. The petition has garnered support from some of the nations leading evangelicals including Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.